Earlier Amon Amarth has announced their new album Berserker, due on May 3rd via Nuclear Blast. The band just released the brutal new single, ‘Raven’s Flight’ And now you can watch the video for the track! Continue reading
Viking Metallers Amon Amarth has announced their new album Berserker, due on May 3rd via Nuclear Blast. The band just released the brutal new single, ‘Raven’s Flight’ Which you can hear below! The album is the first with new drummer Jocke Wallgren (October Tide). The disc was recorded at Sphere Studios in North Hollywood, California with producer Jay Ruston, who has previously worked with Anthrax, Steel Panther, Uriah Heep, and Stone Sour. Crank it up to 11 and listen to ‘Raven’s Flight’ right now! Continue reading
Montréal melo-death legends Kataklysm has charted a course for a busy 2018 including a killer new album and massive amounts of gigs. Their new album Meditations is due out on June 1st via Nuclear Blast. The band just shared a new single, complete with a lyric video for the track ‘Guillotine’. Check it out! Continue reading
Anthrax is releasing a new live album and DVD Kings Of Scotland on April 27th. The band has also released their first single from the collection, ‘Breathing Lightning’. Jam it out now! Continue reading
Kataklysm previously announced a new album for 2018, Meditations, due out on April 2018 via Nuclear Blast Records. Now they have named acclaimed Los Angeles based producer Jay Ruston (Anthrax, Stone Sour) to mix and master their new release. This is major news for the underground band to work with such a popular, up and coming producer. Continue reading
In 2016, for the first time since the eighties, New York thrashers Anthrax find themselves with a genuine burden of expectancy being placed upon their shoulders. Not since John Bush joined in 1992 have the eyes of so many been fixed on the band.
The reason for this is all thanks to 2011’s Worship Music (Megaforce, Nuclear Blast). After the rather colourless Stomp 442 (Elektra/Warner) and its largely forgettable follow-up Volume 8 – The Threat is Real (Ignition), the band released the perennially underrated We’ve Come for You All (Sanctuary/Nuclear Blast). Although clearly superior to their previous couple of outings, its reception was still mixed and far from anything they had enjoyed during the 80s and the turn of the 90s.
However, when Worship Music landed, all that changed. Although possibly helped by a combination of expectancy levels being at an all time low due to more publicized unrest and personnel changes within the camp, as well as there being a gap of eight years between records, the 2011 “comeback” album helped itself no end by simply being one of the strongest records the band had released to date. All of a sudden, the messy upheavals and well documented hirings and firings were forgotten as fans were treated to one of the best Metal albums of the year. Worship Music was a roaring success.
So, having firmly re-established themselves with a critically lauded new album and almost constant touring, the band’s next trick had to be how to maintain that momentum from inside the studio again. A pretty mammoth task they just about succeed in achieving with latest album For All Kings (Megaforce).
After a restrained drum and cello introduction, a typically Anthrax riff takes over and opener ‘You Gotta Believe’ begins properly, hammering away at you until you can catch your breath during its quiet middle section, before it builds back up to a suitably big finish. I’m afraid that by the time vocalist Joey Belladonna belts out “your golden halo is burned and melted” during ‘Monster at the End’ it’s already all over for you as the chorus digs its claws in, almost physically forcing you to sing along, regardless of where you are and how many strange looks you may attract.
Initially led by Belladonna, the title track is simply a monster, with drummer Charlie Benante quickly taking centre stage, owning the song completely with one of his most confident performances in recent years. ‘Breathing Lightning’ and ‘Suzerain’ are big songs with big choruses, and the thrashy as hell ‘Evil Twin’ is as close to old school Anthrax as you could possibly wish for. ‘Blood Eagle Wings’ is a lengthy, but worthwhile eight minutes, and ‘Defend Avenge’ has an opening riff reminiscent of ‘Among the Living’ but is also the album’s first throwaway track, although it does contain a quality guitar solo and improves as it goes along. ‘All Of Them Thieves’ is another (slight) disappointment, but again features another great solo from new boy Jon Donais (Shadows Fall) and gets better towards the end.
Bassist Frank Bello takes control of the intro to ‘This Battle Chose Us’, an improvement on the previous two tracks, and proceedings are brought to an impressive close with a short, sharp burst from the satisfyingly speedy ‘Zero Tolerance’.
A couple of wobbles during the second half aside, ‘For All Kings’ is every bit the worthy successor to Worship Music, although there could be a question as to how much material (if indeed any) was salvaged from the studio at the end of those previous sessions, such are the distinct similarities between the two records in places.
Mainman Scott Ian might come in for a lot of (mostly anonymous, and online) flak when it comes to decisions within the band (his band to be fair), but whatever missteps he may or may not have made in the past, he’s certainly helped make sure the band have a firm footing both for now and a few years to come.
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Within the parameters of Los Angeles, rock music often spawns in the most unlikeliest of places. For Motor Sister, it came together at a birthday party with five people performing music from a defunct band which was brought back to life. Their début album Ride is the result of the love of one band’s music that they felt more people needed to hear.
Motor Sister is the somewhat alter ego of the long time Los Angeles based musician Jim Wilson’s band Mother Superior. The band called it quits in 2009, but the interest in their music from fans was still there. Then came Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian’s 50th birthday party at his home. Wilson explained how the whole scenario took place.
“When Scott started hassling me about the original idea, they made a poster that said Mother Superior and that’s what they sent out to their friends. We weren’t making a new band. We were having a party and having a good time. By using Mother Superior lives, it’s kind of saying we’re playing these songs and with a skeleton head on the flier.”
“Word got back via Neil Zlozower (veteran LA photographer). He did all of the old Van Halen and the Motley Crue album covers. He was at the party. He did two of the Mother Superior covers – the one on Triple X (2001’s Mother Superior) album and the Deep (1998 on Top Beat Records) album. When it came time to have the party, he was on the list. Neil had to be there. So he was the one who made the call to Metal Blade on the Monday morning after the party. He made the call on our behalf to Mike [Faley] from Metal Blade and talked about the party and seeing us. He hyped it up. So he dug further and approached us about making a record. There were some hardcore Mother Superior fans there. I’m not lying but there were some people tearing up because they hadn’t heard it for so long and joy was in the air. We finished the first song and the band looked at each other and laughed. Some people hadn’t experienced anything like it. They were emotional. A friend of ours had a list of every Mother Superior show she had been to, and she thinks she’s seen about 95% of every show from the earliest days. That’s how long she’s been following us. That kind of fan was really touched. We didn’t know where to begin. We just figured let’s just get together and do this. But when the Metal Blade thing came around, they asked Scott first. Scott said it’s all up to Jim if he wants to go back there or not.”
“I had such a good time and I had nothing but respect for Mother Superior. It’s been a little difficult with the old members… I’m sure they’re happy the music’s getting out again. We didn’t part as the greatest of friends. It’s hard to go to them and say ‘hey guys everything’s great.’ But it wasn’t me trying to form a new band. This kind of happened organically and the response is what’s keeping it going, and more so than anything it’s been the music. We can’t complain about that.”
Their début album Ride was based on the set list of songs played at that party, and somewhat of a Mother Superior best of record. The band who performed then (Wilson, Ian, co-vocalist Pearl Aday, bassist Joey Vera and drummer John Tempesta) became the band who recorded the album, with producer Jay Ruston (Anthrax, Steel Panther) overseeing the recording sessions.
“I know the twelve songs that are on the album is the actual twelve song list that Scott came up with himself for his birthday party. So those are the ones that he came up with off the top of his head, and after he sent the email to myself, Johnny, Joey and Pearl saying these are the songs for the party, a week later he said ‘oh shit, I forgot ‘Rolling Boy Blues.’ I forgot ‘Five Star.’ We kept it at those original twelve. We did “Rolling Boy Blues” as the encore for the New York show. We are open to other ones. We are starting to write new songs as well. The album’s been done for six months now recording wise. We need to get the cover and the release schedule. It takes a little while for the label to get it all together. In that time, we’ve been talking about making another record with some original tunes too. So maybe the next album might be 75% all brand new and a couple that we left off.”
While the twelve songs chosen for the set list that evening were compiled by Ian, Wilson himself talked about songs left off that evening he may have also added.
“The one I was surprised that we didn’t pick was from our very first album (1993’s Right in a Row) called “The Wiggle.” It seemed like one of those rock songs and every time we play it someone would yell ‘The Wiggle!’. We always ended up playing it. It’s a good jam. We were so young. I was in my early 20s and barely had any beer in that time. It was many beers ago!”
Wilson shared how he first met Ian, which he knew was a Mother Superior fan from the early years.
“It was the Viper Room. It was around the Deep album in 1998,” he said, recalling that moment. “I do remember when we played and where the Club Lingerie was on Sunset Boulevard, and at one point it was taken over by John Bush (Armored Saint/ex-Anthrax vocalist) and some of the Armored Saint guys when John was in Anthrax. They sponsored the club. Scott was probably at that show because I remember meeting John Bush. I remember meeting Scott at the KNAC Anniversary show at the Palladium in 1999. It was Skid Row, Rollins Band and Anthrax played. I met Scott backstage.”
Ironically, Wilson shared a story about him nearly becoming a touring mate of Ian’s.
“I heard a rumor. I’ve never confirmed this with Scott before but Henry told me that when we were about to go on our first Rollins Band tour and according to Henry, Scott said ‘what’s Jim doing this summer? We might need a replacement Anthrax guitarist because our guitarist can’t make the tour.’ Henry said we’re going out and doing our first shows. Henry told me that at the time and I was tripping like ‘what?! I could have had the chance to play with Anthrax! Hey Henry – shouldn’t you have asked me first? – just kidding!”
Wilson also nearly got to share the stage with another idol of his, but due to scheduling conflicts, it ended after a few rehearsals. But the fact he got to audition meant a lot to him.
“Another friend of mine was playing with Dave Davies of the Kinks at the same time. Dave Davies was looking for a bass player and my friend asked if I had a good choice for that. I said of course. I went to audition for Dave Davies and I got the gig, and they were supposed to go out a month before the Rollins shows started. I told Dave that I was playing with Henry, and Dave was a big Henry fan. He was super excited to have me in his band. When I got the call from Dave Davies, saying he had to push the tour back to this time. So I told him I was going out with Rollins, so I didn’t get to tour with Dave Davies but was in the band for a minute. I got to rehearse with him a couple of times and play 35 different Kinks songs.”